After years of AT&T having exclusivity with Apple products, on October 28 Verizon will begin selling the Apple iPad on its wireless service. The move is widely speculated to be a prelude to a rumored future iPhone deal for the wireless carrier in 2011.
Verizon will offer three different iPad bundles that will include the iPad WiFi model and a separate Verizon mobile hotspot device. This will allow the user to have internet even when a wireless connection is not available. The cost will range from $630 for the 16Gb model to $830 for the 64 GB model. Verizon will also offer the standalone WiFi only iPads beginning at $500.
The rates are comparable to those charged by AT&T for their WiFi and 3G model of the iPad.
This will be the first time that Apple has chosen to link their products with any wireless service other than AT&T. Many feel this could bring great competition to the market and help keep costs down by creating a price war.
The Verizon mobile hotspot device can connect up to five devices, but it has its downside as well. The battery life is about four hours compared the iPad’s 9 to 10 hour life.
Verizon will charge for the data as well. 1GB of data will run a customer $20 a month. AT&T charges $15 for 250MB and $25 for 2GB.
It has been rumored for quite some time that Apple and Verizon are working to bring the iPhone to the network in 2011. Speculation is that the new phone will run on the 4G-LTE network that the carrier offers. Many are hoping future versions of the iPad will do the same.